- Associated Press - Sunday, September 18, 2011

BALTIMORE (AP) - Orioles slugger Mark Reynolds says Los Angeles Angels pitcher Ervin Santana intentionally threw a fastball at him on Saturday night, and the first baseman felt fortunate to have avoided serious injury after being struck in the helmet by the pitch.

Reynolds homered during a five-run first inning and was hit by the pitch in the third. Reynolds stayed in the game but was removed in the fifth inning and went to the hospital for a CT scan.

He was not in the Orioles starting lineup Sunday, a move manager Buck Showalter labeled “precautionary.”

Before the game, Reynolds accused Santana of throwing inside with the intent of hitting him with the pitch.

“I think he hit me on purpose. I don’t think he hit me on the head on purpose,” Reynolds said. “He threw me a first pitch slider, and I took a pretty big hack at it, and I just think he was trying to give it up a little bit.

“I watched the video and the catcher set up in, and he missed the spot by two feet. Major leaguers don’t do that.”

He understands the concept of a brushback pitch, but said Santana went too far.

“I’m all for pitchers not making batters feel comfortable in the box. I want our pitchers to do the same,” Reynolds said. “But going at the head, that’s career stuff. There’s no place in the game for that at all. If he hit me in the back, that’s a different story. In the head, I think it’s as low as you can go.”

Santana also hit Nolan Reimold with a pitch _ right after Reynolds batted in the first inning _ and issued three walks. He contended that the errant pitch to Reynolds was an accident.

“The whole year I’ve been pitching inside, and I don’t have nothing against him. I don’t throw the ball at him,” Santana said Sunday. “Been pitching inside the whole year, and I’m not going to stop pitching inside. I just wanted to pitch inside. The whole game I was all over the place. It was nothing against him.”

Asked if Santana threw at Reynolds on purpose, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, “Not at all, absolutely not. No intention at all.”

Reynolds was happy to be back in the clubhouse after the scary moment.

“It could have been a lot worse,” he said. “It could have hit me in the face or missed my helmet entirely.”

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